Philadelphia Phillies 2023 Season Position Breakdown: Right Field

Nick Castellanos and Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies
Nick Castellanos and Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Phillies should be comfortable with their right field depth.

The Philadelphia Phillies' options at right field could vary a bit throughout the season. Come Opening Day, the club will use Nick Castellanos every day. It remains to be seen whether Bryce Harper can play the position when he returns from offseason elbow surgery. Regardless, the club still has right field depth behind Castellanos and Harper.

For the Phillies to get the most out of the position, they will need Castellanos to improve offensively. There are reasons to believe he will have a better season in 2023. The 31-year-old began last season hitting reasonably well. He was hit by a pitch and injured in early May and never seemed to get his groove back. Castellanos also got behind in the count frequently, which left him over-protecting the outside part of the plate. He was often unsuccessful in laying off tough breaking pitches.

Castellanos' track record suggests that 2022 was a down season, but not indicative of a decline. If he improves at the plate in 2023, the Phillies' offense will become even more formidable. Castellanos is not the best defensive player, but he did make some memorable postseason catches that saved the Phillies from losing games. One particular catch ended Game 1 of the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves:

Behind Castellanos to begin the season, the Phillies will have Josh Harrison and perhaps Jake Cave— if either make the Opening Day roster. Cave has impressed all spring and has hit at a torrent pace. He has also made some nice defensive plays. Harrison is not a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder but could play the position if necessary.

The best-case scenario would be Harper coming back and playing the outfield at some point this season. Getting him on the field helps everyone in the lineup. It opens up the designated hitter spot to give other players like Castellanos, Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto, and Rhys Hoskins time in the role. Harper is also better defensively than Castellanos.

The Phillies recently released some positive news regarding Harper. They are opting to not put him on the 60-day injured list to start the season, in case he can return before May 29. Most reports regarding Harper's recovery have been positive. While there is no official return date — and there likely will not be for a while — it seems plausible that he could return earlier than originally expected.

Right field will likely be a strength for the 2023 Phillies. Whether Harper can play the field or not, Castellanos will likely improve upon his lackluster 2022 season. If he does, then the Phillies lineup will be that much better.